Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign has already taken them to Córdoba, Mendoza and San Juan for home matches and after another disappointing result in the Monumental, La Albiceleste are now set to try their luck at the iconic Bombonera.
Following the draw with Venezuela, rumors immediately surfaced that Argentina will play their final qualifier against Peru at the home of Boca Juniors, but there is still uncertainty as to whether FIFA would approve the move, it was unclear if La Bombonera was a possibility.
The Peruvian FA initially objected to the proposed move citing security fears after the infamous pepper-spray attack on River Plate’s players during a Superclásico in 2015.
However, after visiting the stadium and holding talks, FIFA have accepted the request and Argentina will indeed be hosting Peru for the critical game at La Bombonera on October 5th.
With Argentina currently in the fifth-placed playoff position and Peru in fourth the stakes couldn’t be higher for the penultimate game. Victory for either side pushes them closer to a place in Russia and defeat could be catastrophic.
For all of Peru’s hesitancy to play in La Boca, La Blanquirroja have a great history at the stadium and will be aiming for a repeat of 1969, when they famously drew with Argentina 2-2, a result which produced the last time Argentina failed to qualify for a World Cup.
The last time Argentina played there was in 2012 (the only time Argentina have played at La Bombonera in the past 20 years) when Alejandro Sabella’s side hosted Brazil for one of the arranged Superclásico de las Américas meetings. Two goals from Nacho Scocco gave Argentina a 2-1 win on the night but equal on aggregate, Brazil won on penalties.
The last World Cup qualifier came in 1997 when a side managed by Daniel Passarella drew 1-1 with Colombia.
However, going further back and on the occasions when Argentina have switched to play in La Boca, results have been positive. From a total of 29 games, Argentina have lost only twice, with 19 wins and eight draws.